After moving from Manhattan to the DC area, I had a horrifying realization: People don’t brunch!! Yes, brunch is used as a verb here, and no - that statement is not entirely true. People DO brunch, just not as often (like, every Saturday AND Sunday morning). I think this is because people work such long hours in NYC and are less able to embrace the same work-life balance as we Southerners, so brunches become is the social meals of the week up north. You can generally find time to fit in a meal on the weekends, but trying to schedule a dinner during the week? Ugh. I’ve found that, since relocating, I have altered my behavior as well. I meet my friends for catch-up meals during the week and spend my weekend mornings reading my news source of choice, having french pressed coffee and making a healthy breakfast (its called breakfast when you do it at home).
I most certainly have not given up on brunch entirely, especially in the winter when I like to post-up at the bar at Chadwicks next to the fireplace and drink $3 delicious bloody marys (also $3 mimosas & drafts and $9 bottles of champagne). I come here for the drinks, not the food - which is fine but nothing special. Although, the cinnamon butter that goes with the yummy little blueberry and chocolate chip muffins they provide is amazing – I want to spread it on everything!
For brunch in Old Town, I think Jackson 20 in the Hotel Monaco is spot on. I can never decide what I want because the entire menu looks amazing. I was there yesterday with a friend who reminded me of the joke “your mama’s so fat that when they bring her a menu, she just says, OK.” We were ravenous after a 12 hour celebration of her birthday the day before and that is exactly what we wanted to tell the waiter. After considering our waist lines (but clearly not TOO much), we decided not to order everything but opted instead to start off with some biscuits and gravy and then each get an eggs benedict dish. For once in our lives, we forewent the $12 unlimited mimosas due to our state, but this is a huge perk of Jackson 20′s brunch menu. We both left feeling very full and satisfied. Yes Please to Jackson 20!
Other great brunches in Old Town? Check out Vermillion (which is just great for everything) and Columbia Firehouse, who also has an awesome brunch menu. Stay away from Bilbo Baggins. I went here with two friends and we were all incredibly disappointed with our food. Bilbos is place to go if you want to grab a beer – not to eat, and most definitely not to eat brunch.
Del Ray also has some really fantastic brunch spots. Evening Star Cafe is always a safe bet for food, and I’ve heard Del Ray Cafe has an amazing brunch, although I haven’t tried it yet. If you’re up for some cocktails, check out Cheesetique’s Brunch Bucket (view from past post).
For more brunch recommendations and reviews, check out Bitches Who Brunch, A Southern Brunch Guide.